Writing & Reviews

A small sampling.


  • "Something, Anything" from The Short Story Project, previously published in Rosebud, and winner of a Glimmer Train Stories Very Short Fiction prize. A woman, a man, a mattress, a car...
  • "What Do You Remember?" from The Short Story Project, which called it "a moving and lyrical meditation on nostalgia, love, and mortality."
  • "Walls to Nowhere" from The Saturday Evening Post. The charm, and the history and politics, of the folly buildings of Ireland.
  • "Andros Aphrodisiac" from The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. A sort of love story...
  • "Destination: Springtime in March" from The Washington Post. Finding spring in a single day, by driving south on I-95.
  • "Middle-Aged across the Middle of France," my blog about bicycling and camping with my husband from one side of France to the other in six weeks. A life-changing, mind-blowing, beautiful time.
  • "Song for a Boy Not My Own" from Superstition Review. The magic of aunthood.
  • "For Some, Shifting Allegiances Is No Easy Action" from The Washington Post. About my experience becoming a U.S. citizen, and the experiences of other new citizens around me.


Praise for Piranhas & Quicksand & Love

"Sally Shivnan's prose is so clear, and governed by a hand so precisely attuned to the demands of the story, that the words seem to disappear, and you look through them without quite having the sense that anything is between you and the people she has created. These stories will take hold of you from the first line. Each one provides what Peter Taylor once said all good stories provide: superior entertainment."

--Richard Bausch, author of Before, During, After

"An outstanding collection of tales about the pitfalls and rewards of human connection. . . Read this book to savor its beautiful language, to drink in its gentle defiance. Piranhas & Quicksand & Love calls readers to ride the waves of a sea besieged by predatory behavior and natural disaster. To sail on, nevertheless, toward love."

--The Washington Review of Books

(read the full review)

"Sally Shivnan gives life to the dreams of the most unexpected of characters... Endearing, poignant, tender and true, these are stories to surprise and delight..."

--Jill Dawson, author of The Tell-Tale Heart

"Sally Shivnan writes with grace and understanding about people who often lack both. Her stories pull us in with a quiet, observing, knowing voice..."

--Thomas Swick, author of The Joys of Travel: And Stories that Illuminate Them

"Shivnan's skill, humor, and empathy convert everyday situations into exquisitely strange and moving riddles that will cling to readers' memories."

--Pamela Petro, author of The Long Field

"Nice to know I have a niece who is the next J.K. Rowling."

--my uncle Jim Diffley